No more IPv4 addresses in Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean have entered the IPv4 exhaustion phase; the delay in deploying Internet Protocol version 6 in our region is cause for concern.

La Casa de Internet de Latinoamérica y el Caribe, 10 June.- Today, the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC), the organization responsible for assigning Internet resources in the region, announced the exhaustion of its IPv4 address pool and expressed its concern regarding the fact that operators and governments throughout the region are delaying the deployment of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

LACNIC reported that its pool of available IPv4 addresses reached the 4.194.302 mark, and that this has triggered stricter Internet resource assignment policies for the continent. In practice, this means that IPv4 addresses are now exhausted for Latin American and Caribbean operators.

"This is an historic event; the fact that it was anticipated and announced doesn't make it any less significant," said Raúl Echeberría, LACNIC's CEO. "From now on, LACNIC and its National Registries will only be able to assign very small numbers of IPv4 addresses, and these will not be enough to satisfy our region's needs." Since it began operating in 2002, the organization has assigned more than 182 million IPv4 addresses throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

As agreed by the regional community, now that only 4,194,302 available IPv4 addresses (/10) remain, LACNIC's pool of IPv4 addresses is considered officially exhausted and the Gradual Exhaustion and New Entrants policies have come into effect, introducing new procedures and requirements for those requesting resources.

The policy on Transfers of IPv4 Blocks within the LACNIC Region  (see 2.3.2.18), which allows and governs the transfer of resources among different organizations within the region, is now also in effect.

"Today, the need to deploy IPv6 is now more pressing than ever. It cannot be delayed any longer if connectivity providers still wish to meet the demands of their customers and those of new users. LACNIC and the Internet community have been working for years in preparation for this very moment," said Echeberría. 67% of LACNIC member organizations have already been assigned IPv6 addresses by LACNIC and National Registries, NIC.br and NIC.MX.

LACNIC's CEO, however, expressed his concern that "10 years after LACNIC and National Registries, NIC.br and NIC.MX.  began promoting IPv6 deployment, many operators and companies still haven't taken the steps needed to duly address this circumstance."

2,097,150 of the remaining 4,194,302 addresses may be assigned during this phase, in blocks of limited sizes (assignments) comprising between 256 and 1,024 IP addresses. Likewise, an organization may only request additional resources six months after receiving a prior assignment. Once these 2 million IPv4 addresses are exhausted, LACNIC members will no longer be able to receive any IPv4 assignments.

At that point, the reserve for new members (/11) will be activated, thus triggering Phase 3 of the IPv4 exhaustion plan designed by LACNIC and the National Registries. According to the policies in force, during this final phase only new members will be able to request IPv4 addresses, which will be assigned in blocks of between 256 (/24) and 1,024 (/22) addresses. Each new member will only be able to receive one assignment from this space.